To Haul Or Not To Haul: Holiday Makeup 2017

So when I did an Instagram poll on whether I should publish holiday content or not, the majority of people were on the yay side.

I'm not gonna lie, I personally get annoyed with at least 60% of all holiday content. Maybe I'm part Grinch, maybe I'm too cynical, but either way, I am not all about that gift guide life ¯\_(ใƒ„)_/¯

Look! Here's the same overpriced polyester sweater from Nordstrom that I wouldn't buy on my own but 2342347 other bloggers and I are linking to it anyway because it's on the top-selling page of Rewardstyle!

Too salty? Maybe.

That said, there is also holiday content I enjoy! Yummy holiday recipes and book guides and easy yet bold makeup looks-- yes, please. More tailored guides and reviews of holiday kits and releases all catch my attention. Basically, I think holiday content is at its best when the content creator is able to inject a bit of their personality into the content.

So this year I want to do my own spin on "gift guides." I'm not even sure I can call them gift guides. Instead, I'm going to do a To Haul Or Not To Haul series on holiday 2017 gift guides and holiday releases. The idea is pretty self-explanatory and if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen me do them many times before. Basically, it's a recommendations post and anti-haul in one!

By no means are these posts going to be exhaustive! I mean there are so. many. holiday. releases. But they will most likely be long because I gotta lotta things to say.

The haul side is organized from lowest to highest priced. The anti-haul side wasn't so lucky.

Disclaimer: Just because I anti-hauled a product does not mean I'm attacking you for liking it nor does it mean I am attacking the brand. I just personally don't think the product is worth the $$ and sometimes I enjoy being just a little bit snarky. Recently, there was a large beauty blogger who branded anti-hauls as "hateful." Personally, I think that's a load of BS. Sometimes it seems like we've come to a point where the online beauty community can't handle any sort of comment that isn't positive ๐Ÿ˜

Haul Worthy

Maybelline FaceStudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter

I received this in a PR package from Maybelline last month and I unexpectedly instantly fell in love with it! It's become one of my go-to highlighters. I love how it almost gives off a wet, glossy look without glitter. It's not chalky or ashy or patchy nor does it emphasize pores. It's just flat out visible and worthy of allll the hype.

L'oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara Set

I wasn't crazy about either of these products when I first started using them, but they've both grown on me through the months! I find the lash primer works best when applied just on the edges. The mascara delivers insta long, wispy lashes. It doesn't flake throughout the day either. I have the waterproof version and it holds my curl pretty well throughout the day! When I first purchased it in the summer though, it didn't. It might work for me better now because the weather is much dryer or because the mascara itself has dried out a bit or a combo of the both. I wouldn't say it's a dupe for Too Face BTS mascara because I hate that stuff and find it a clumpy hot mess. This is eons better

Mac Snowball Extra Dimensions Eyeshadows

$20.00 available nowhere
It feels a litttttle bit cruel to include these in this gift guide as they're mostly sold out everywhere, BUT THEY'RE TOO PRETTY NOT TO INCLUDE! I suggest checking out Temptalia's reviews of the collection to see the swatches. Personally, I picked up Stylishly Merry which is a gorgeous shadow with a pink, yellow, and green shift.

They randomly come back in stock online and you might be able to find a shadow or two in stores if you're lucky.

Nars Man Ray Love Triangle

$24.00 available via Nordstrom and Sephora
Collaborations have become passe for the most part, but Nars always manages to knock them out of the park by partnering up with artsy fartsy people and create badass looking collections. Out of everything in the collection, I think the Love Triangle minis are the most giftable. You get a mini Nars blush and a mini Nars lipstick for under $25! It's a lovely gift or lux stocking stuffer.

By Terry Preciosity Baume de Rose Lip Care Ornament

$24.00 available via Dermstore
By Terry's baume de rose is one of their best-known products. And since it's a luxury brand, it comes with a luxury price tag. This holiday exclusive mini is the perfect way to try out the balm before deciding if it's worth splurging on or not. It's a little taste of luxury ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stila Big Shots Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner & Mascara

$25.00 available via Dermstore
Throughout the years I've tried many eyeliners, and I always end up coming back to the Stila stay all day liquid liner. It's black, it's matte, and it stays all day. It also applies so smoothly (unlike both the KVD liners I tried.) For $3 more you also get a full-sized mascara! Total steal.

Fresh Sugar Lip Sets

$25.00 - $60.00 available at Nordstrom and Sephora
Fresh sugar lips are my jam. They're the OG tinted lip balm. It's said that every 7 out of 10 women have at least one Fresh sugar lips on their being at any point on the day. Okay, I totally made up that statistic but it's believable because they're that good. Of course, they're also sort of pricey so having one in your purse and one in your car and one at your desk and one on the kitchen counter sort of adds up. Enter holiday gift sets! They're a more affordable way to stash a sugar lip all the places.

Stila Written in the Stars Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow Set

$25.00 available via Sephora
Unfortunately, this is another set that seems to have sold out everywhere online BUT I have seen them in stores! Also, there's still on the Sephora website which leads me to believe they plan on restocking at some point.

I wasn't ready to be on the magnificent glitter hype train... but the hype is real y'all. These are soooo beautiful. I'm a very lazy eyeshadow type of gal so these are made for me. With a few swipes across the lid and smudging out with my finger, I've got a beautiful shimmery eyeshadow look. It was mostly Katie Jane Hughes IG that convinced me that these are worth it. Look at the sparkle ๐Ÿ˜

Huda Beauty Obsessions Palettes

$27.00 available via Sephora and Cult Beauty
These palettes are smaller than what I expected but the pan sizes are of decent size. Plus it's hard to beat the price! And there's a nice assortment of colors to choose from-- neutrals, mauves, and brights are all out there.

Sephora Lip Favorites

$28.00 - $68.00 available via Sephora
Y'all already know about my hate-love relationship with Sephora favorites sets. This year they've released 4 sets with a $28.00 price tag and one ultra lux set for $68.00. Like all Sephora favorites sets, the value of these sets is out of this world! They're also packaged cutely so you don't really even have to worry about wrapping shit up. While the small sets make for a nice one and done present, the large kit could be split up for multiple gifts or stocking stuffers.

Tatcha Tinted Lip Oil in Kyoto Red

$30.00 available via Tatcha
The marketing of this item annoys me a bit, but not enough to banish it to the anti-haul section. If there's something that Tatcha can do well, it's packaging. This is probably the most luxurious and gorgeous lip oil I've spotted.

While I love me some lip oils, most of them aren't the most pigmented. From swatches, this looks incredibly pigmented! And since it's a lip oil it won't dry out your lips this winter. It's the ideal gift for any red lip lover ๐Ÿ’‹

First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Triple Protection Skin Tint SPF 30 Bundle

$34.00 available via Sephora
The FAB skin tint (PR gift) has been one of my go-to base products for summer and fall. Hopefully, at some point, I'll get around to sharing my review and comparison of it to the Glossier skin tint ๐Ÿ˜œ This set features the skin tint and a mini of their mist, for the same price as the tint alone! There's also another, slightly cheaper, bundle that features a full size of their champagne cream highlighter and minis of their face cleanser and primer.

Touch in Sol Metallist Liquid Foil & Glitter Double-Ended Eye Set

$40.00 available via Sephora
More sparkly eyeshadows? YES PLEASE! I prefer these over the Stila 6 piece glitter eyeshadow set as there's more color variety. Fingers crossed, I'll have a review up for this set next month.

Beautyblender Gold Mine

$40.00 available via Dermstore
There are two types of beauty lovers out there: those who think Beautyblenders are a scam and those who you will clutch to their Beautyblenders until you pry them out of their cold, dead hands. I fall into the latter category. I've tried a bunch of different sponges but none of them are as soft as my beloved Beautyblender. I always pick up one of these holiday kits to restock my BBs for the following year. For $40 you get two full-sized Beautyblenders, a mini cleanser (my fav soap for washing brushes + sponges), and a blotterazzi (which I do think is a bit of a scam.)

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet Set

$45.00 available via Sephora
Sadly I have yet to try anything from Burberry, but their lip velvets have long been at the top of my Burberry wish list (I mostly blame Shireen for the length of said list.) The lip velvets seem to be universally loved and I've read so many rave reviews!

This set is the perfect way to try 4 different shades without selling a kidney. There's a variety of shades from nudes to pinks to deep berries. Also, the amount of product you get is really good! Their full-size contains 0.2 oz while each mini has 0.13 oz which is more than half! So many mini lipsticks make me question-- is this a lipstick for ants? These are definitely human-sized. I've played around with these in stores and they're just the right size for easy application.

Erborian Get a Glow Holiday Kit

$45.00 available via Sephora
I've only worn the Glow Creme (PR gift) a few times but so far I think it delivers hydrated, glowy skin. It definitely helps smooth over the areas of skin that my foundation loves clinging to. This set features a full-sized Glow Creme plus minis of their cleansing oil (which you know I really like if you read my WTF are cleansing balms post) and Yuzu double lotion for $3 more than the price of the Glow Creme on its own.

Deborah Lippman Crystal Prism

$45.00 available via Dermstore
What better time than the holidays to splurge on some pretty nail polish? I like that this set has a variety of colors. If you're into more of the nude persuasion, they also have a set of 6 nude/ pink polishes for $36.00. From my personal experience, most Deborah Lippmann polishes are quite opaque which is sometimes tough to find when it comes to more natural nail colors.

Lilah B. Divine Duo Lip & Cheek in b. dazzling

$46.00 available via Dermstore and Sephora
I tried my first Lilah b. product this summer and the hype is real. The pigmentation and finish of their divine duos is stunning. I love that this shade has a bit of shimmer in it for the holidays. Most multi-use products I've tried don't excel on the eyes, lips, and cheeks. The Lilah b. duos are the exception! They wear beautifully on both the lips and cheeks, at least the one shade I've tried so far does.

Natasha Denona Holiday Eyeshadow 5 Palettes

$48.00 available via Sephora
While I'm admired Natasha Denonono palettes from afar, I was never too tempted to buy them due to their price tag. I feel like the beauty community has gone from seeing the brand as something totally out of touch with reality to something that's totally worth the splurge. I'm not sure where my personal thoughts lie, but I can say I am totally loving their holiday palettes. The colors aren't what you would typically expect from a holiday collection and they are stunning!

Wayne Goss The Airbrush Duo

$75.00 available via Beautylish
Do you want to be caressed with the kisses of a thousand angels? Buy this brush x 2. But for real this brush is ridiculously soft and incredibly versatile. I can apply setting powder on my face or under my eyes, highlighter, and even blush with it. It doesn't disturb my makeup underneath nor does it scratch my face. It's honestly the bomb dot com.

Boy, BYE Not Haul Worthy

KVD Metal Crush

$36.00 available via Sephora
Is anyone else getting colorful highlighter fatigue? Been there done that. Metallic highlighters are a fad that'll eventually fade, and their peak has definitely passed. At this point, there are a hundred and one drugstore iterations I don't see the point in spending over $30 on something that may not even be "wearable" a few months down the line.

Too Faced Life's A Festival Collection

No. Not only is it tacky AF but it's not even being released until FEBRUARY! Unicorn makeup is already old news in November, they'll be ancient history come February.

Too Faced White Chocolate Bar Palette

$45.00 available via Sephora on Thanksgiving
While we're on the topic of Too Faced, I might as well anti-haul their more recent upcoming release: this shittastic palette. If you remember last year, Too Faced released two mini palettes, one being their mini white chocolate palette. I don't think I read one positive review of the thing. It lacked pigmentation, was difficult to blend and didn't even show up on tan white people. From looking at the palette and available swatches, it seems like a repeat of last year's palette. How many slightly different shades of white does an eyeshadow palette? Not sure but it's definitely less than 5.

Tarte Tartelette Toasted Palette

$46.00 available via Sephora
Whenever I see people talking about this palette I read it as Raclette toasted, which let's be honest, is much more appealing. How many slightly different versions of the same warm neutrals palette can Tarte release before we're over it?

Also, I think I'm in the minority but I'm not a fan of the packaging. The tortoise and the gold font clash. The tortoise is all "I'm a sophisticated lady who brags about reading Jane Austen" and the gold hand-written font is all "I have a sign that says love, peace, and shopping in my bedroom."

Becca Lightwaves Highlighter Palette

$34.00 available via Becca
Same shit as the KVD palette. For that price, you might as well buy a full-sized classic Becca highlighter ¯\_(ใƒ„)_/¯

Chanel Le Signe de Lion Highlighter

$70.00 (I think) available on Black Friday (I think)
I feel like this is Chanel's attempt at appealing to a younger audience or their way of ripping off Chantecaille. Either way, I'm not into it. From swatches, it looks sheer and glittery.

Urban Decay Distortion Eyeshadow Palette

$48.00 available for pre-order via Sephora
Is it just me or does Urban Decay release a new limited edition palette every other week? This iteration contains 10 "traditional shades" and 5 "transformer" shades. I'm guessing eyeshadow transformers are the new blush topper? I have a hard enough time applying eyeshadow, I don't need to make shit more complicated with adding a holographic "topper." And call me crazy but isn't that what we have shimmer shades for? I do admit I like the outer packaging although it does look super bulky and a bitch to store.

Pat Mcgrath Mothership Eyeshadow Palettes

$125.00 available via Sephora
I swatched the Pat Mcgrath Luxetrance lipsticks during the VIB sale and yes, the hype is real. They are pure silky perfection. I also swatched the eyeshadows and while they were nice... they weren't let's pay $125 for 10 shadows nice. Perhaps if you're a Pat McGrath fan or super lux products are your weakness, they might be worth it. If you're like me and mostly only wear eyeshadow before washing your face at night, they ain't worth it.

Bite Lip The Perfect Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set

$25.00 available via Sephora 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Radiant Blush Kit

$30.00 available via Sephora and Ulta
I love me some ABH. This blush palette looks stunning at first glance, but at a second glance, I realized how redundant it is. There's barely any difference between the shades. Isn't the whole point of a palette to have a variety of shades? This palette has little to no variety. So despite its reasonable price and cute packaging, I don't think it's worth hauling. I'll stick to my ELF blush palette.

Any sort of vault

There have been so many vaults being released lately I feel like I'm at risk of having my eyeballs stuck to the back of my head a la Liz Lemon.

Who in their right mind needs to spend hundreds of dollars to own every single shade from a single collection? Answer: nobody. They try to sell them as some sort of steal or deal but they're anything but.

Morphe 35OOOOO2

$23.00 available via Ulta
Please explain to me how this is different than 90% of all the other Morphe palettes out there? We get it, warm nudes sell well. The minute differences from palette to palette don't really translate to different eye looks from what I've seen.

Colourpop x Sephora Collection

$5.00 - $26.00 available via Sephora
This was such a bummer because before I saw the collection IRL, this would have been in my yes please, haul section. The whole appeal of Colourpop is their wide variety of colors available at affordable prices. The Colourpop x Sephora collection palettes retail for $26, $10 more than the usual Colourpop palettes. The Amber Crystal trio is by far the worst product in the lineup. When I shared a swatch of the highlighter in my story I got dozens of messages saying it looks like a clumpy concealer, not a highlighter. Furthermore, they barely have any single eyeshadows or lipsticks available. If they end up expanding the collection in the future I would give them a second go, but for now they're a hard pass.

Violet Voss Eyeshadow Palettes

$45.00- $75.00 available via Sephora
Sometimes I feel like Violet Voss is just Morphe 2.0. When you line up all their palettes side by side my response is: these are supposed to be different palettes?

Nars Narsissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette

$59.00 available for pre-order via Sephora
When I first peeped this palette on Nars's instagram account, I was all over it. I even shared it on my IG story. But it's been a roller coaster ride since then. At first I thought it was a pinky, red palette but after seeing swatches it seems to be another palette of neutrals with one or two reddish shades. Instead of purchasing a whole nother palette with browns, I think it makes sense to buy singles of the one or two interesting shades in the palette. Who needs yet another warm brown eyeshadow palette? Not me.

Laura Mercier Master Class Colour Essentials Collection 3rd Edition

$125.00 available via Sephora
This reminds me of those all-in-one palettes my mom would get as GWP from her Lancome/ Estee Lauder counter purchases and would later gift to me so I had some makeup to play around with as a kid. I could get behind it because the size of it looks decent, but again there's such a limited range of colors in both the blushes and eyeshadows.

I wish makeup companies would realize that it's not only light, white people interested in buying their makeup. Is it too much to ask for some medium or dark brown shadows? Do we need a matte cream and a matte white and a matte pale pink? I think not.

Giorgio Armani Beauty I Love Armani Red Carpet Eyes and Face Palette

$100.00 available via Sephora
Does a palette with 10 eyeshadows really need 3 dark navy shades and 1 black? That's almost half the palette. Add in a stark white shadow and you're all ready to turn yourself into a mime!

I think this reviewer said it best: "This product had no pigment and those sponges would be in a 5 yr olds makeup kit from Claire’s"

Gigi x Maybelline Collection

$8.99 - $29.99 available via Ulta
I get that Gigi is #famous and needs to make her cut from her collection, but that doesn't mean I'm going to be willing to pay for it. I could go on and on about how I'm unimpressed the colors and selection and packaging of the collection, but the biggest reason I don't want to buy this collection is because of Gigi herself. Every press release I've seen of her talking and using the products shows she has no clue wtf she is doing. There are certain collaborations that show that the collaborator really imparted their personality into the product (like the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe palette) but to me, it seems like Maybelline just slapped Gigi's name on this collection to cash in on her fame. I'm not into it.


If you actually read this whole thing, internet hugs and kisses to you. What's on your wish list for the holidays? What product are you absolutely not spending your money on?

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